The pros and cons of napping

 
 
Today's medical media often send out mixed messages when it comes to best practices for good health.

Taking naps has been the subject of scrutiny recently.

Some research points to napping as beneficial to employee productivity.

Other research suggests that long naps may actually be linked to chronic disease. 

Here's what we know about the benefits and risks of taking naps.

 

When is a nap a good thing?

There are lots of benefits to sneaking in power naps every once in a while. For some, naps can:

When is a nap a bad thing?

Despite the benefits of napping, an afternoon respite is not for everyone. Napping can be problematic if you: 

 

How to make naps work for you

The Mayo Clinic recommends that naps be taken between 2 and 3pm and last between 10 and 30 minutes. Doing so takes advantage of your normal post-meal dip in energy and, if done by 3pm, poses the least risk for causing sleeplessness in the evening.

Also, insist on good sleep hygiene: Make sure your have a dark, quiet, comfortable space with no interruptions so that you can easily slide into a short cycle of sleep, and use an alarm to prevent falling into deeper stages of sleep so you will awaken feeling refreshed. 


Sources: 

Diabetes Journal
Mayo Clinic
University of Tokyo

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